Verbatim: We are in Jerusalem!

Remarks by Natan Sharansky under the huppa of his daughter, Rachel.

chuppah wedding good 298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
chuppah wedding good 298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The following remarks were given by Natan Sharansky under the huppa (wedding canpoy) of his daughter, Rachel, at her wedding last week. They were recounted to us by a guest at the event and are published with permission. In Jewish tradition after kiddushin and huppa we take one step back, look at our personal simcha from a broader perspective, and break a glass in memory of Jerusalem. And here I want to say a few words. This moment takes me back to our huppa, Avital's and mine, 34 years ago. It was in a small, oneroom Moscow apartment where four friends held a sheet above our head. The number of guests hardly reached a minyan. It was the first huppa in our lives that we ever saw and all that we could do was simply repeat after the rabbi every move and every word - while hardly understanding many of them. But when it came to breaking the glass, the rabbi spoke about Jerusalem and we became instantly reconnected to our reality. It was so obvious to us that we were in the very last stages, the final meters, of the thousands of years of struggle to return to Jerusalem. And this huppa, ours, invigorated our determination to win this battle and made us feel powerfully that it was within our reach. Today, we are standing here: You, Rachel, are the first sabra in the Sharansky family, and you, Micha, the first new immigrant in the Danzinger family. And we are in Jerusalem! The dream has come true. But if we are here already, in the unified capital of the reborn Jewish state, what is the meaning today of breaking the glass? What is the dream we still yearn for? What is our - your - challenge? When I compare your huppa and our huppa, I think that the challenge which you face is much more difficult. Our aim was so simple and so clear. We had to win the battle and nothing could deter us. Today, on the one hand you have to be builders and guardians of Jerusalem, and at the same time guardians of the idea of Jerusalem. You have to physically build the earthly Jerusalem and keep alive the power, energy and uniqueness of the heavenly Jerusalem. The power of unity, and connection to the generations of our people is in heavenly Jerusalem, of Yerushalayim shel ma'ala. THE TWO of you met a year ago and immediately starting talking, and haven't stopped talking till today. And it was clear to all of us who enjoyed watching the beauty and intellectual and spiritual power of your talks that this union was made in the heavens. Now that you are turning this union into a material and physical one and building your home in Jerusalem, keep the spiritual power of this past year throughout your life. For Baba Ida, your birth, Rachel, was the most powerful proof of our victory over our enemies. She wanted to send your picture to the whole world, but first and foremost to the enemy. I am sure that for Savta Ida and Savta Grace - who was excited to get the news of about the impending wedding just before she left us - as well as for all the generations of the Danzinger, Horowitz, Sharansky, Stieglitz and Milgrom families - this huppa is their victory. It is the victory of all the generations who were true to the Jewish people's oath of Jerusalem. Now let's break the glass.